photo of cast stone quoins on a wall

What are Quoins used for?

Quoins have been used for many years throughout history. Dating back to Ancient Rome, they were used to elevate the look of corners and the sides of buildings. Since then, they have been used throughout history, making buildings stand out while also adding a timeless charm. Today, quoins are used to add character to your luxury property.

This blog aims to answer the question “What are quoins used for?”, by exploring what they are, their benefits and the different types. We also consider the significance of colour and product matching, the installation process and how we can help.

3 different examples of cast stone quoins | Acanthus Cast Stone

What is a Quoin?

Derived from the French word for corner, a ‘quoin’ is an external cornerstone in architectural design. Often made from cast stone, stone, brick, or wood, these elements are frequently seen to frame a property’s facade, flowing down its corners. They offer not only structural support but also enhance the visual appeal of a building, making it stand out.

The Benefits of Quoins

Quoins, often overlooked but important in architectural design, offer a multitude of benefits that contribute to the overall charm and functionality of a building. Here are some key advantages of incorporating them into your property:

1)   Frames the Property

One of the standout features of quoins is their ability to frame the corners of a property. This framing effect not only adds a ‘wow factor’ to the architectural design, but also adds a touch of elegance that will capture the attention of visitors and passersby. This creates a lasting impression.

2)   Part of a Cohesive Design

Integrating quoins into the overall architecture and coordinating their colours and design elements can help establish a cohesive and harmonious look throughout your property. This attention to detail elevates the visual appeal and ties together different parts of the building and its surroundings seamlessly.

3)   Enhances Visual Appeal

The addition of quoins enhances the design of a building, creating a striking and unique look and making it visually appealing to the eye.

4)   Structural Strength

Quoins can play a role in enhancing the structural integrity of a building, be simply decorative or do both. By reinforcing corners and edges, they can provide additional support and stability, ensuring the longevity of the structure.

Built-in quoins provide extra strength and support when they are built into the structure of a wall that is load bearing. When quoins are merely placed on the facade of a building, they are not structural, and are effectively surface-fixed ones. More on this later.

5)   Suits a wide variety of Properties

One of the biggest advantages of quoins is their versatility. They can complement a wide range of architectural styles, from traditional to modern, making them a suitable choice for different types of properties. Whether you have a historic home or a contemporary building, quoins can seamlessly integrate and enhance the overall appearance.

By understanding the benefits of quoins and how they can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your property, you can make informed decisions when it comes to architectural design and create a space that is not only visually stunning but can also provide structural integrity.

The Different Types of Quoins

There are two main types of quoins – ‘built-in’ and ‘surface-fixed’. The latter refers to quoins that can be affixed onto an existing property, whereas built-in are an integral part of a property’s structure. Here are the main differences between these two types:

Different types of cast stone quoins - built-in and surface fix quoins

Built in Quoins: These are literally built into the property during the construction phase, actually replacing standard bricks. These structural elements come in two variations: standard and ‘chamfered.’

Standard Quoins: These align flush with the walls of the property, providing a more subtle yet superior touch to the overall design than not having them.

Chamfered Quoins: In contrast, ‘chamfered’ quoins project slightly out from the walls, enhancing their visibility, detailing, and creating a pronounced architectural framing effect. This unique feature adds depth and dimension to your property, elevating its visual appeal.

You can learn more about our standard and chamfered built-in quoins here.

Surface Fix Quoins

In addition to built-in quoins, surface fix quoins are specially designed to allow for easy installation at a later date. They can be attached onto the existing property, providing you with flexibility and convenience without compromising on quality or aesthetics.

How Are Surface Fix Quoins Installed?

One common method for installing surface fix quoins to a building involves the use of epoxy resin. This provides a strong bond and ensures they remain firmly in place.

We often receive enquiries about adding stone features to existing buildings. In such cases, we recommend the use of surface fix quoins and porticos. These products are designed to be installed onto the surface of a building, without the need for them to be built into the structure.

Explore more information about our surface fix quoins here.

Colour Matching / Contrasting

When it comes to enhancing curb appeal and maintaining consistency, colour matching your quoins with other architectural features is crucial.

This can be achieved by matching the same colour as other cast stone products and the brick work, or by using a different colour to the brick work. In the instance of a different colour to the brick work, customers generally use the same colour for all cast stone elements. Both effects will enhance the curb appeal of your home, and the choice largely depends on your own unique style.

The right colour choice has the power to make your home stand out or seamlessly blend into its natural surroundings as desired.

Acanthus Cast Stone new stone colours

The best way to explore the different colour options and compare how they can complement your home is by requesting our free samples. By seeing the samples in person, you can get a better sense of how the colours will look and feel on your property and how the colour can work with your brick work or render. You can request your free cast stone sample from our wide range of colours here.

Product Match

Product matching cast stone is essential for adding detail and can have a big impact on the overall style of your home when carefully selected to complement the quoins.

For a harmonious design, we suggest using cast stone quoins alongside window dressings such as cast stone cills & heads or window surrounds. Additionally, incorporating door surrounds, quoin gate pillars and a portico into your design scheme can further enhance the overall look of your home and property.

We also offer a range of cast stone blocks which can be used alongside the quoins to create a statement facade to your property.

The image below is an example of how product and colour matching can make a real difference to a luxury property, transforming your home into a visually appealing and cohesive design:

Luxury house showing what Quoins are used for

Our Range of Cast Stone Quoins

We offer a diverse selection of high-quality cast stone quoins to elevate the aesthetic appeal of your architectural projects. Our range includes built-in standard, built-in chamfered, and surface-fixed, each meticulously crafted.

Whether you’re aiming for a traditional look or a modern design, our cast stone products are designed to meet your specific requirements. Explore our range for more information:

Our quoins are not just limited to the building, they can also be added to gate pillars. With quoins placed around each corner of the pillar, it makes the perfect addition. Here is an example of our GPQ Quoin Gate Pillar with FN6 Pineapple and Base. Using the quoin to great effect and giving the pillar more of a unique look to make it stand out.


In conclusion, quoins are not only architectural elements but also key components that contribute to the overall aesthetics and functionality of a property. From providing structural strength and framing the property to enhancing visual appeal and offering versatility, they can really add to the curb appeal of any commercial, residential or private building.

By exploring various types of quoins, considering colour coordination, and employing product matching techniques, you can elevate the look of your property to new heights.

Why Acanthus for your Cast Stone Quoins?

We take pride in our beautifully crafted cast stone quoins, meticulously designed and available in a range of sizes. Our wide selection ensures that you have the flexibility to find the perfect fit for your individual project, whether it’s your dream self-build home or a development of multiple properties.

Our cast stone quoins come in both plain and chamfered profiles, allowing them to seamlessly integrate with a variety of architectural styles. They create a timeless look that adds elegance and character to any commercial, residential, or private project.

“At Acanthus, our cast stone quoins really add a wow factor to any luxury home.’’
Gavin, Project Manager at Acanthus

All our products are available in a range of natural stone shades with the same texture and feel as carved stone. Items we supply are completely frost proof and far exceed the performance requirements of BS1217, the UKCSA Specification for Cast Stone, and NBS clause F22.

If you require any further information, would like to get a quote on our range, or wish to discuss any of our other bespoke cast stone products, contact one of our friendly Acanthus team or call us on 01773 540704.



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